‘Have strong connection with people of Jaipur’: Congress candidate Jyoti Khandelwal
The Congress has fielded former mayor Jyoti Khandelwal from the Jaipur Lok Sabha constituency. It is after 45 years that any party has fielded a woman candidate from this seat. She will take on BJP sitting MP Ramcharan Bohra who has been fielded again.
In an interview to Nikita Bishnoi, she talks about her priorities and other issues.
Your candidature has come as a surprise for many. For a long time this seat has been contested by Brahmin candidates. What is your take on that?
I don’t accept that the Jaipur seat has anything to do with caste or the voters are divided by caste. In the past, the constituency has elected three MPs from Rajput community, four from Vaishya community and even a Muslim candidate has contested the election on Congress party’s ticket. Whoever is perceived as a winning candidate by the party is given the ticket.
You are the first woman fielded by the party on this seat after 45 years. Do you see it as a challenge?
Indeed it is a challenge. I want to thank Rahul Gandhi ji for encouraging women and trusting a woman candidate to contest from the capital of Rajasthan. This is very motivating for me. Congress has fielded three women candidates whereas BJP has fielded none. Indeed there are challenges in women contesting the election but I have a firm believe that I will get full support of women in Jaipur. Be it social, cultural or religious events, I have always been involved with the women in Jaipur. They would set an example that if a party gives chance to a woman candidate, she can win the elections.
What are the challenges for you keeping in mind that in last Lok Sabha elections the Congress candidate lost by over 5 lakh voters ?
When the difference between the winning and losing candidate is as large as it was in the last elections, any candidate should contest elections with a lot of responsibility. I have a very strong connection with the residents of Jaipur where I have always been involved in happiness and sorrow of the people.
Jaipur is considered as a BJP fortress. How do you plan to campaign?
I accept that the BJP’s victory in the last term was a very big one. I personally do not agree that Jaipur is a BJP fortress. But even if we believe so for a moment, when I will reach out to the people backed by the kind of work I have been doing as a mayor and also afterwards, the blessing and love of the people will help me shatter the BJP fortress.
Do you think Modi factor would be a challenge as it was in the last term?
I want to make it clear that if Modi is used as a label on everything to ask for votes, it itself proves the failure of the MP. If an MP cannot list the developmental works in his/ her area and looks for votes in Modi’s name, it clearly shows that he/she has not worked a bit. If they bring in the Modi factor this time, people will clearly know their failure. This is democracy, people understand everything.
Why do you think the people should vote you?
People know my style of working. If ever the people of Jaipur have come to me with a problem, I have always raised my voice. I am always available to listen to each and every problem of the people. I have a very strong connection with the people which is a positive point for me.
How would you plan your campaign?
Our campaign would revolve around unity and strength of the party. We (party leaders) will all run the campaign in a united fashion.
Several BJP corporators have rebelled against BJP including mayor Vishnu Dutt Sharma, who recently joined Congress party. Do you think this will also be a driving factor for your party to lead you to victory?
Of course it will. This clearly indicates the discernment in the party. This shows how the people are leaving the party and joining Congress. All these factors will prove to be a strong force for the victory of our party.